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Vienna Boys Choir: Bio

The angelic-voiced musicians of the Vienna Boys Choir celebrate the magic of the holiday season with a delightful program of Austrian folk songs, classical masterpieces, Christmas hymns, and holiday carols. For six centuries, these young cultural ambassadors have been adored the world over for their wide range of repertoire, purity of tone, and generosity of musical spirit. 

The Wiener Sängerknaben or Vienna Boys' Choir is the world's foremost children's choral group. It is also among the oldest of all musical organizations, having been founded pursuant to an Imperial decree of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I on July 7, 1498; the Emperor wished boys' voices to be added to the choir of the Imperial Chapel, or Hofkapelle. This established a tradition of having the boys sing in weekly Sunday masses in the Imperial Chapel of the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, a tradition that continues today. 

Over the centuries, illustrious composers have written masterpieces for the Boys' Choir of the Imperial Chapel, including Mozart, Bruckner, Gluck, and Schubert. Many great musicians got their start as members of the Boys' Choir; among them were the great conductors Hans Richter, Clemens Krauss, and Lovro von Matacic. During the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the choir became renowned for its secular performances as well, appearing in colorful Imperial-style military uniforms, each complete with a dagger. After World War I, wide popular and governmental disfavor of all things Imperial resulted in the dissolution of many long-standing institutions, including the Imperial Chapel Choir. However, Chaplain Joseph Schnitt remained in his position at the chapel and re-gathered the choir. Sparing no personal expense, he re-established a boarding school for the choristers. He replaced the imperial uniforms with a distinctive sailor-style uniform. 

The Vienna Boys' Choir has the most stringent training and admittance policy in the world. Boys wishing to join must first gain entrance to a preparatory school where they receive a complete elementary education. Their instruction includes elements of musical theory, sight-singing, and the practice of singing, and instruction on at least one instrument; at the age of nine, they have to pass an examination based strictly on musical ability and vocal quality. There is no religious requirement. The teaching is purposely intensive in order that their education not be slighted due to the frequent touring. There are usually two choirs away on a tour at any given time, most frequently for three months. They are accompanied by their choirmaster, their tutor, and a nurse. Vienna Choir Boys have visited the United States well in excess of 50 times since 1932 and have traveled to all six inhabited continents. They are beloved the world over for their lively singing style and beautiful tone and have commissioned a number of new works, including Britten's The Golden Vanity.

1 Adeste Fideles  
2 Frohliche Weihnacht Uberall  
3 The First Nowell  
4 O Holy Night  
5 Il Est Ne, Le Divin Enfant  
6 Carol Of The Bells  
7 Joy To The World  
8 Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas  
9 Leise Rieselt Der Schnee  
10 Winter Wonderland  
11 Let It Snow  
12 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer  
13 Jingle Bells  
14 Jingle Bell Rock  
15 Feliz Navidad  
16 We Wish You A Merry Christmas  
17 Happy Christmas (War Is Over)  
18 Silent Night  
Vienna Boys Choir - Merry Christmas From Vienna (Trailer)
Vienna Boys Choir Concert Tour 2019
Vienna Boys' Choir stop by Chicago's WFMT studios
Vienna Boy Choir and Gondwana Indigenous Children's Choir

The Vienna Boys Choir-one of the world's best known musical institutions-celebrates the holidays with a major Christmas album released on Deutsche Grammophon today. This album of holiday favorites features two stars of classical music: Rolando Villazón and Aida Garifullina and is the beginning of a long and close collaboration with Universal. Merry Christmas from Viennafeatures traditional repertoire including O Holy Night, featuring DG recording artist Rolando Villazon, Stille Nacht, featuring the Russian soprano Aida Garifullina, and other holiday favorites including Il Est Né Le Divin Enfant, Carol of the Bells, Joy to the World, Feliz Navidad and more. They also take on the melancholy war protest song Happy  Christmas (War is Over) by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

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Crossover Media Projects with: Vienna Boys Choir